|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE TN - A Coffee County woman is charged in Franklin County with obtaining controlled substances by fraud. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of Tammy R. Russ, 36, of Manchester.
Russ is charged with three counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The charges allege that on three separate occasions, Russ obtained a controlled substance by means of fraud from local pharmacies.
“We are continuing to work with both local law enforcement and the citizens of Tennessee to prosecute individuals who continue to think they can take advantage of the TennCare Program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Moreover, during the course of our investigations into fraud and abuse of the TennCare program, we uncover other violations of state criminal law related to the operation of TennCare and we vigorously prosecute those matters as well. This case was a prime example.”
Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor will prosecute this case.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,300 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."